Monday, June 8, 2015

Ndere Centre Dance Troupe

Traveling to the Ndere Center, we were able to learn traditional music, dance, and drama in Uganda. We learned about the three different types of people involved in music that included agricultural references, living experiences, and people that are always on the move learning new things. All of the instruments that were used were made from membrane and dry wood in order to avoid the manufacturing process. We started out the day by a bit of background on Ugandan culture, followed by learning a choice of traditional dance, xylephone, drums, or the adungu (Ugandan guitar). We then performed our newly learned skill in front of the entire group. After we learned these, we were welcomed to a buffet with dinner and a show! We got to watch everyone in action doing different tribes traditional music, dance, and the main speaker's drama act in Uganda. Randomly towards the end of the show, Trey, Mia, Mitch and I were called up to demonstrate our newly learned skill of the xylophone in front of the whole crowd. The night was concluded with everyone coming on stage and dancing together; it was a very fun and eventful evening!

16 comments:

  1. I am amazed on a consistent basis when I ponder the culture and historical implications of the dances while in Uganda. The dances are so graceful and interesting that you just have to shake and move around with them! Being called up on stage was definitely a surprise for sure, and I know you and Trey did far better than Mia and I did!

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  2. Wow thanks Mitch.. We had so many more distractions I was so nervous! But it was an amazing experience getting to see all of the different types of dances. I loved how Norbert got up and participated in his cultural dance along with other people from the crowd during the performance. It was awesome that we all got the chance to dance with everyone at the end and try to jump as high as the dancers did.

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  3. Going off what Mitch said earlier I think that we all did fantastic but I loved reading that compliment so thanks! That was a great environment to spend the afternoon. I am constantly learning more about the culture and I am loving it. It is so cool that each tribe has it own traditions and the dances for celebrations! At first I felt everyone was a little nervous to get their groove on but I am glad to see everyone out there having the time of their lives.

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  4. Seeing everyone perform the different instruments/dance in the morning was so impressive! We were fast learners but the dance group was awe-inspiring. You could tell that dancing was their passion and that they put their heart into everything they did. I couldn't imagine smiling with 8 clay pots stacked on top of my head...

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  5. I really enjoyed this day as well, it might have been my favorite one of the trip but its too soon to tell. I felt so honored getting to learn even slightly how to play the Adungu (the Ugandan guitar). All of the variety and complexity with the instruments and the dances is really amazing. The stereotype that all of Africa is the same is so completely ridiculous, especially considering that going to one country like Uganda you will find 56 different tribes with different cultures, languages, and ways to express themselves through art. It was definitely a great cultural experience!

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  6. The Ndere Centre is something I will never forget. One thing i would like to add is that I find it inspiring to see these traditional daces carried on throughout the years. Another thing, is during the performance when they would be representing a certain tribe, if people were from that tribe in the audience, they would get up and dance! It was a great experience. I give the dancers a lot of credit, because I tried to learn how to dance, and it was most definitely not a pretty sight.

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  7. I am never going to forget being on the stage with the dance troupe trying to learn the moves to our dance and just laughing at ourselves because we were so stiff. It took a while for us to loosen up and dance with and like them, but once we did it was so much better and much more fun. The most frustrating part of learning was trying to speed up with the dancers but still being stuck going slower although it ended up not mattering because we were all just having a great time dancing as hard as we could. I really liked watching the performance because it was very impressive that everyone knew each dance.

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  8. It is so much work to dance like that and I cannot imagine doing it for a long time. There were a ton of influential people there and you would have never even guessed. The entire experience was absolutely amazing. The leader of the group was very humble and hilarious and one of the best entertainers I have seen in a very very long time, he is also incredibly well versed in different cultures and very intelligent. I loved this part of the trip.

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  9. I really agree with Taylor, it was amazing to see these traditional dances being carried on after everything Ugandans have been through. It was very inspiring to see young people like us so proud of their culture and doing such great things with it! This day was definitely one of my favorites!

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  12. The Ndere cultural center was one of my favorite days so far. Although my dancing skills were not great, I had a lot of fun being able to learn more about Ugandan culture. I really loved hearing the history and origin of the different types of music. The hunters and gatherers, the agriculturalists, and the nomadic herders all had different dances and instruments that came as a result of their diverse lifestyles. The host of the show was so funny and I loved and appreciated his focus on bringing different cultures together to all appreciate the beauty of song and dance. There was a great sense of community among the crowd and unlike typical performances that I have been to, the audience was encouraged to participate and share in the happiness.

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  13. The Ndere center was a great place to learn about African culture. I enjoyed how the culture was based on imagination and the varied from one region to the next. Personally I feel that these traditions should be kept as they give an individual a sense of belonging and history. This supports sustainable development because individuals with similar backgrounds can work together in a community. This community involvement may in turn boost the economy which relates to the economic pillar of sustainable development.

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  14. Ndere was definitely a highlight of this trip. Apart from learning the traditional dance, I thought it was really interesting to learn about the culture and background behind each regions instruments and dance. For example, the nomadic people had to have light instruments that they could carry with them. At Ndere, they are doing a wonderful thing keeping Ugandan culture alive because not only does it keep Ugandans in touch with their tribes,but also teaches other people about the history of Uganda. It also teaches people to be more accepting of people and cultures different from their own, and I think Ndere's mission aligns nicelywith the social pillar of sustainable development.

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  15. I really enjoyed this day and all of its activities! Something also that we can think about as Americans, is how much culture we have that is similar to those dances and the music in the United States. In the U.S., there are multiple different Native American tribes that all have their own language, dance, music, food, and overall culture. Living with the Lakota nation, I was able to dance in some pow wows every Wednesday and learn dances from traditional jingle healing dances, to the men's grass dance. Something to take away from this is not only the amazing, amazing experience we had at Ndere, but also to appreciate some of the art and parallels that we have with tribes in the United States.

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  16. What an amazing day/evening! The cultural significance, meaning, and history of each dance is so interesting. After attempting to learn and perform one of the traditional dances myself, I have so much respect for the dancers who perform each dance. Overall it was such an incredible experience filled with fun, laughter, and a variety of dance moves!

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